Internet business is big whether your business is solely Internet based or not. It’s also true whether you are a large corporation or a mom and pop business with a small site for local clients only. The problem is that many people only do a limited amount of research when it comes to having a website built. Sure, people take the time to find an affordable web design
firm or freelancer, after all…money is important. Sometimes, but not always, the lowest bid gets the job. Most business owner take a good look at their portfolio before committing, which makes perfect sense. I have seen people pay as little as $300 for a site. Let me tell you, they got what they paid for. But aside from web development, what do you know about online business? More importantly, what do you know about running a website?
You see, many people think all they need to do is to get a website up and running. There mentality is “If you built it, they will come” and that is rarely true. What people fail to understand is that they will likely need to do extensive research to make their site a success, unless the product or service they are offering is already wildly popular. Building a site is not a “one and done” proposition. You’re probably asking yourself “What do I need to know?” Keep in mind, web designers will not give you that information. Why? It is in their best interest not to. If they did, you’d probably rethink your entire strategy for building a website.
Things to keep in mind.
Flash Design: This is popular among companies that like the visual aspect of web design. However, search engines can not read the content in a flash site unless it is designed with both Flash and HTML. Many companies come to me asking me to optimize their site after they spent a small fortune on Flash. I can’t do it unless they are willing to allow me to make some changes. So, if you want to have a site that is easy to update (yourself) or want search engines to be able to index you, stay away from 100% flash.
Framed Sites: These are not as popular as they once were. Thank goodness for that. Framed sites are bad for a lot of reasons. Frames are basically 3 or 4 websites put together by frames to make one site. This makes it very hard to index the site properly. This will cause you to miss out on a lot of potential traffic.
Search Engine Submissions: When you finally decide to launch your site, keep in mind that it can take several months to get listed on search engines after you submit to them, and yes, you DO need to submit to them at least once. Have a plan of action if your site will be dependant on the search engines for traffic.
Search Engines Optimization: If you plan to be found on search engines, you need to consider doing some search engine optimization. SEO is about optimizing your site and its content so it can be found under certain keywords and phrases. This will cost less to do on a monthly basis than any other forms of advertising. Unfortunately, if your site is new it will take several months before your content is picked up by search engines. After that, any changes you make will been picked up within days. So, plan for other forms of advertising until you are picked up by the search engines. Then you can cut back on the paid stuff and concentrate on natural SEO.
Traffic: How will you bring traffic to your new site? You will need to plan a monthly budget to keep new traffic coming in. Do you know what your options are? Where are your competitors advertising? Do you know about PPC, banner advertising, article writing, link exchanges or other forms of getting traffic? You should, if you want to succeed.
Remember, just like with any business, you need to promote your site. Unlike a storefront, people will not just pass by your internet business on the way to work. It is much harder to promote a site and get traffic to it without a presence. If your site isn’t created for people to find, the aforementioned points don’t pertain to you. If your site will be relying on traffic, then keep them in mind and plan for it in your budget. Again, many people don’t realize what they’re getting into when they build a website. If you don’t have the time to make a success of it, at least hire a professional who can do it for you.